Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Concept itself is flawed (Score 1) 169

The same logic applies in the military to the people who volunteer for suicide missions and hopeless last stands, and yet those have happened on a number of occasions, often to good effect, and always for a lesser cause than bringing humanity to a second planet.

I notice that you did not cite any such cases. Do you actually know of any, of you just assuming based on... what?

A "hopeless last stand" in which you find yourself facing near-certain death due to battlefield reverses (ambush, surprise attack, collapse of a defense perimeter, etc.) is not the same as a "suicide mission" in which someone who is not in imminent danger of being killed otherwise, is sent out to die on purpose. In fact, people survive "hopeless last stands" on occasion.

Genuine suicide missions are also quite rare for Western societies even in wartime. These certainly happened during WWII, with the Japanese and Soviets at least, but a high chance of dying in a mission is quite different from a mission which has no other possible outcome. Even suicide bombers have a significant chance of not dying, given the failure rate of suicide bombs.

This sort of "mission", sending volunteers to a certain death (no other possible outcome) without any necessity, in peace time, is unknown in any modern Western society as far as I am aware. Having a private organization do it makes it a criminal act.

Comment: Re: Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck... (Score 1) 169

Meant to be ironic - but reveals idiocy just as the OP said. Good to remain anonymous, coward.

With this "mission" the chances of death are certain - there is no other possible outcome. This makes it more dangerous than being a suicide bomber, since with that mission there is a chance the bomb will fail to explode (and this has happened many times).

When has the U.S. government in peace time sent any civilian on a genuine, absolutely certain suicide mission? NASA certainly never has. You would be hard put to find any military missions that fit that description, even in wartime.

Comment: Re:Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck... (Score 1) 169

Name one peace-time project in which a 100% death toll was a certainty form the get-go.

These things are extremely rare even in major wars (in fact I cannot think of any such missions).

Remember - guaranteed death as the only option is very different from "high risk of death".

Comment: Re:Ahhhh, C++ (Score 1) 757

by crunchygranola (#49253829) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

Big, big difference between explicit function references (known to have definitions elsewhere) and redefining the meaning of arithmetic primitives.

Stroustrup explicitly decided not to leave stuff out just because it was abusable. If there was a good reason for a feature to be in (and he was pretty strict on that), he wouldn't reject it because somebody would do something stupid and confusing with it.

And C++ stands as a monument to what you get when you follow that philosophy.

Notice that other languages since have tended to focus on a tighter coherent set of core features.

Comment: Re:Headers are not real (Score 1) 757

by crunchygranola (#49228647) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

There are good features and there are bad features. If you don't like funky object features don't use them...

Because everyone writes code from scratch just for their own use?

This lame excuse for a extremely over-complicated language laden with bad features is simply ludicrous in the real world where 80+% of programming is maintaining code that somebody else wrote. Any feature that makes that harder, is a "misfeature".

Comment: Re:Ahhhh, C++ (Score 3, Interesting) 757

by crunchygranola (#49228607) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

Any language that allows the programmer to override the '=' operator is truly, verily, bad.

This is, to my mind, the most fundamental problem with C++: it is impossible to look at a page of code in isolation and know what it does, with confidence. Any of the operators could have been redefined to do anything. This is not a theoretical problem, I encountered a code base of horrors that a nerd who though he was God's gift to nerd-dom dreamed up, which had numerous standard operators reassigned to make the code he wrote "look elegant". It was impossible to analyze or maintain.

When the meaning of a simple programming construct is indeterminate, the language that supports it has failed disastrously.

Comment: Re:I miss Google Search (Score 2) 150

by crunchygranola (#49200585) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

This is what I miss most. At one time Yahoo and Google were competing in desktop search and you had two powerful engines to choose between.

And the way they dropped their desktop search application was infuriating - it was dropped with less than a week's notice, which was little publicized (I missed it) so you did not have a chance to save the installer (assuming it was complete in itself), and they did not open source the code base so that others could maintain it.

Now the best I have for Linux systems is Recoll, it seems. Pretty effective on common formats, but clunky, and no features to keep the index up-to-date. (If anyone knows something better, please tell me.)

Comment: Re:I miss Google Search (Score 1) 150

by crunchygranola (#49200547) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

Yes, there at least three levels of "second guessing", the first is harmless ("did you mean" suggestions) but usually stupid, these don't change your results; the second level is "improving" your search by deleting various terms from a multi-term query (how else to get specificity?) in the top list of results; the third level is deciding you really wanted to search for something entirely different, and searching on that instead. And all of this is in addition to their type-ahead suggestions, which prompt you for popular searches right from the get-go.

The (insane) premise seems to be 'of course you really want your search to return an ocean of 10 million hits, rather than narrowing down to 10 or 100 actually relevant ones'.

Comment: Re:Lift the gag order first... (Score 1) 550

It is not a matter of property rights, atleast not in most states. In most states the state, or local government own the property that this is done on.

This is impossible. Long distance ground line systems cannot be constructed without easements of private property, a restricted but real form of abrogating property rights for the benefit of the private enterprise laying the lines.

The fact is communication companies get to use other people's property for free so that they can profit.

Comment: Re:Lots of weird crap coming out of Congress latel (Score 5, Insightful) 517

by crunchygranola (#49185031) Attached to: White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

the devil is in the details:

Yes, such as the 50,000 studies they "use" annually. Thats 137 studies 'used" per day. I guess common sense doesnt figure into your view of things sine you quoted the part where this is detailed, but failed to notice how ridiculous this is.

The EPA employs 16,000 people full-time and contracts out work to many more, so that is 3 studies per employee per year. I fail to notice anything ridiculous about the number.

Do tell us, what is the "right" number of studies?

Comment: Re:You can find proof of anything (Score 3, Funny) 144

by crunchygranola (#49182337) Attached to: Technology's Legacy: the 'Loser Edit' Awaits Us All

You can find "proof" of anything you want to on the internet, whether it be that the Queen of England is really a lizard..

Googling "Queen of England is really a lizard"... whoa! 16.9 million hits! The top one: Reasons The Queen Is A Bloody Lizard. Will wonders never cease...

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759